How to describe this book....hmmmm......at first meeting, you see the really personable dog (better than cute) on the cover so you figure you've got yourself a dog story. Now, lift the cover and you know you're not in the expected place. I loved Timothy Basil Ering's Necks Out For Adventure and his very distinctive style of illustration creates a double personality for this story. Let me explain. Snook, a rat terrier, is the very good and faithful friend of a monk, Abba Jacob. The two live on an island in the Maldives as far as my Google search could tell. Much of the story takes place on a really unknown little spot called Avocaire Island. But, what happens? First you see the routine of the lives of man and dog. It's a world of gardening, silence, camaraderie, rat-catching and chapel. They are the perfect friends quietly, gently going about their tasks in earshot and eye view of each other. That is until the day they sail off in a small boat and because of a powerful storm, Snook gets left behind on an island. My friends, this is a book about faith. This little, spunky dog will need to create a meaningful life while he waits faithfully for the day when Abba Jacob will return to take him back home. Now, back to Timothy Basil Ering. In the middle of the beauty of the natural surroundings that he gives such wonder to, he also provides comic relief with the images of the monk and the energy of Snook. You get one "take" on the first read. You get a whole 'nother take on the second and the third. Marilyn Nelson has created a fabulous for teaching children about the natural world around them filled with treasures and amazing processes taking place. Very warm and reassuring read for teaching children about having faith even during the toughest of times. 48 pages Ages 5-10
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